Chipotle chili with Mexican cornbread

My proto-sister-in-law sends me all sorts of delicious and healthy recipes that please the tummies of our boys. Her pecan-crusted halibut with a dijon cream sauce was AMAZING, and this chipotle chili was hearty, complex, spicy and perfect for a cold night. Plus, it makes enough to freeze the leftovers.

I think the secret ingredient is the cocoa powder. Or the red wine. Or perhaps all those chipotle chilies in adobo. Or maybe the fact that I ground my own coriander seeds!

People kept telling me that spices are best freshly ground, like coffee, but I never tried it. Luckily, I have an old coffee grinder that worked perfectly for this. Wow – freshly ground spices are way more pungent than whatever we buy bottled in the store.

I like chilis that have big chunks of stew meat in them, as this one did. I happened to have some beef stew meat in the freezer from Safeway’s discount food bin.

It also had two kinds of beans and called for Spanish chorizo. I subbed that out for Mexican chorizo, which has the texture of ground beef and is super spicy. It added a different texture and I liked it, but will try the more solid, Spanish kind next time.

This soup cooks for at least an hour and a half, so make sure you have the time before starting it. We topped ours with avocado, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Made with my boyfriend’s famous Mexican cornbread (pimentos, green chilies, cheese, etc.).

Even those of us with the biggest appetites couldn’t have more than one bowl!

Merissa’s chipotle chili

* 2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces), thinly sliced
* 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
* 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 2 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
* 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
* 2 tablespoons masa harina
* 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove chorizo from pan. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Remove 4 chipotle chiles from can, and chop. Reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add chorizo, beef, chopped chiles, tomato paste, and next 6 ingredients (through ground cumin) to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, lime juice, beef broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Gradually stir in masa harina. Add pinto beans and black beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.


5 responses to “Chipotle chili with Mexican cornbread

  1. This looks super yummy… but I must ask:

    Any chance you could share the pecan-crusted halibut with a dijon cream sauce recipe? It sounds incredible and I am actually heading to the grocery later and halibut is on the list.

  2. Coco, of course!

    Pecan Crusted Halibut with Dijon Cream Sauce


    * 1 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    * 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 2 teaspoons coarse grained Dijon mustard
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1 1/4 cups pecans, finely chopped
    * 1 1/4 cups fresh or dried breadcrumbs
    * 8 (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets
    * 1/4 cup butter
    * Dijon Cream Sauce


    Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk mustard and eggs in another shallow bowl. Combine pecans and breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.

    Dredge each halibut fillet in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip halibut in egg mixture to coat; drain excess. Place halibut in pecan mixture, pressing slightly to coat both sides of the fillet.

    Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add fillets, in batches, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned, adding additional butter as needed. Arrange fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until done. Serve with Dijon Cream Sauce….
    Yield Makes 1 1/2 cups (you certainly can half the recipe, but leftovers are great over pork!)


    * 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    * 1/2 cup coarse grained Dijon mustard
    * Sea salt
    * Freshly ground black pepper


    Combine cream and Dijon mustard in a medium saucepan. Whisk constantly over low heat 3 minutes or until heated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. p.s. I bought my halibut at Costco for an amazing $12.99 per pound, which was perfect for two to three people.

    It was $24 per pound at Newport Market!

  4. You rock!!!

    I am fixing this for dinner tonight!

  5. Wow! I fixed olive and rosemary seared brussel sprouts and a poached pair & bleu cheese salad along with this… I have never had halibut before not knowing how to fix it… this recipe has changed that!

    Thanks Write Gal! (and Write Gal’s proto-sister-in law!)

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